Catalina Island News

Rotary Club of Avalon will mark historic progress toward a polio-free world

2016-10-22
Rotary Club of Avalon

Rotary members in Avalon are among thousands reaching out on World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio – a vaccine preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.

WHAT:   World Polio Awareness Day/Awareness Walk
WHO:  All interested parties
WHEN:  October 24, 2016, 10 am – 4 pm, Wrigley Stage/Followed by walk to Casino and back

Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative nearly 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to 26 confirmed as of Sept. 19, 2016.  To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, experts say $1.5 billion is urgently needed. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. 

Bruce Fertig, Avalon resident and Rotary member survived Polio as a child.  Here’s a bit of Fertig’s story…….

“I came down with a case of non-paralytic polio in June of 1955. I was home with the disease for 4 weeks before spending 1 week in the contagious wing of LA Co. General hospital. I spent the next 6 weeks in the Sister Kenny Clinic for polio victims in El Monte. I was a physical therapy out-patient for the next 2 years.

Prior to getting sick I received my first Salk vaccination, but unfortunately 3 doses were necessary for complete immunization. As polio cases go, mine was pretty mild. Some suffered permanent paralysis, others could not breath without an iron lung. Most of the victims were children. I hope all parents will immunize their children from this disease.”

Rotary has contributed more than US $1.6 billion to ending polio since 1985, including over $20,000 contributed by the Rotary Club of Avalon.

About Rotary
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.